Study: Concentrated Fukushima radioactive plume staying on narrow path toward U.S. — Moving with surface water along 40 N — Same latitude as Northern California(MAP) http://enenews.com/study-concentrated-fukushima-radioactive-plume-staying-along-narrow-path-moving-surface-water-along-40-same-latitude-northern-california-map
Title: Surface pathway of radioactive plume of TEPCO Fukushima NPP1 released 134Cs and 137Cs
Authors: M. Aoyama, M. Uematsu, D. Tsumune, and Y. Hamajima
Date: May 7, 2013
[...] The main body of radioactive surface plume of which activity exceeded 10 Bq m−3 travelled along 40° N and reached the International Date Line on March 2012, one year after the accident. A distinct feature of the radioactive plume was that it stayed confined along 40° N when the plume reached the International Date Line. [...]
A distinct feature of the radioactive plume was that it stayed confined along 40 N when the plume reached the International Date Line, as stated in Sect. 3.2. The radioactive plume travelled 1800 km (from 160 E to 178 E) for 270 days (9 months) (Fig. 5); therefore, an average zonal speed (u) of the surface radioactive plume was calculated to be about 8 cm s−1 which was consistent with the speed of the reported surface current of 4–16 cm s−1 in the region (Maximenko et al., 2009). [...]
We can also assume that the Fukushima radioactive plume moved with surface water [...]
Full study here
US Military on Track to Reach 3 GW of Solar Energy by 2025, The Energy Collective, 20 May 13 The Army, Navy and Air Force are using more than 130 megawatts of solar for everything from powering remote special operations to air conditioning and lighting for U.S. base residences. And the forces intend to keep building toward 3 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2025 as part of a much bigger Department of Defense (DOD) commitment.
While detractors were declaring solar too intermittent to be reliable at home, U.S. Marines were successfully relying on it at battlefield sites in the Khyber Pass, according to Enlisting the Sun: Powering the U.S. Military with Solar Energy, a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), released just in time for Armed Forces Day on May 18.
The DOD’s annual $20 billion energy budget makes it the biggest single energy consumer in the world……http://theenergycollective.com/hermantrabish/226186/us-military-3-gw-solar-energy
New US Energy Secretary confirmed, supports nuclear energy and natural gas The Verge, By Carl Franzen May 16, 2013 T
he US Senate just voted unanimously to confirm a new Energy Secretary for the country. Ernest Moniz, a 68-year-old nuclear physicist and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will take on the role of the head of the Energy Department, reporting directly to President Obama, who nominated him for the job after the previous Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, resigned earlier this year, saying he wanted to return to academic life. The job puts Moniz in charge of everything from the development of new energy startups, to helping fund new battery research and electric vehicle companies (Tesla Motors was started by a previous Energy Department loan), to managing thesafety of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy in the US.
The latter point is of special interest because Moniz, in contrast to his predecessor, is an advocate for more nuclear power. In the wake of the Fukushima reactor meltdown in Japan in 2011, Moniz wrote an article in The Atlantic calling for the US government to approve a type of smaller, cheaper nuclear reactor. He also supports increased usage of natural gas, which produces lower emissions than oil or coal, and he led an energy research initiative at MIT that was funded by oil and gas companies, leading other scientists to express concern that he was too close to these types of companies to be an effective Energy Secretary…… http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/16/4338118/new-us-energy-secretary-confirmed-supports-nuclear-energy-and-natural
With its massive money and clout, Southern California Edison was ready to ram through a license exception for a reactor whose botched $770 million steam generator fix had kept it shut for a year.
But a funny thing has happened on the way to the restart: a No Nukes groundswell has turned this routine rubber stamping into an epic battle the grassroots just might win.
This comes as the nuclear industry is in nearly full retreat. Two US reactors are already down this year. Yet another proposed project has just been cancelled in North Carolina. And powerful grassroots campaigns have pushed numerous operating reactors to the brink of extinction throughout the US, Europe and Japan, where all but two reactors remain shut since Fukushima.
In California, it’s San Onofre that’s perched at the brink. Read more »
Judge Rejects Uranium Mining Industry Attempt to Repeal Ban on Grand Canyon Mining, Earth Justice Ted Zukoski Ruling again rejects attack on DOI’S authority to temporarily protect lands MAY 16, 2013 GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, AZ —
Walmart Adds More Solar In Massachusetts http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3744 17 May 13, U.S. retail giant Walmart has taken another step towards its goal of becoming 100 percent supplied by renewable energy, announcing the completion of rooftop solar power systems on eight of its stores across Massachusetts.
The solar power generated by each system will provide an estimated 10 to 15 percent of each store’s electricity needs.
The announcement was made at the launch of the company’s Walpole store, which features a 374-kilowatt rooftop system, with 1337 solar panels generating 383,551 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
The eight Walmart stores used almost 10,000 solar panels in their PV arrays, providing a combined 2.8 million kilowatt hours of solar electricity and avoiding almost 1,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions; earning Walmart the Environment Protection Agency’s top ranking as number one on-site green power generator/consumer in the U.S in 2013.
“The stores in Massachusetts demonstrate our commitment to increasing the share of renewable energy that powers our stores and improving energy efficiency,” said David Ozment, senior director of energy at Walmart.
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner, Mark Sylvia said, “Investments from business leaders like Walmart have helped the Commonwealth meet our 250 megawatt solar goal four years early and earn the number one national ranking in energy efficiency two years in a row.”
Walmart used Connecticut solar installer Greenskies Renewable Energy to complete the project, and a power purchase agreement will see the company buy all the electricity generated by the system.
With a stated goal to source 100 percent of its power from renewables, Walmart now has 280 renewable energy projects in operation and under development worldwide, supplying one billion kilowatt hours of electricity to its stores annually. Onsite renewable projects such as solar, wind and fuel cell technology account for around four percent, while the company’s current total of 21 percent renewable electricity as of the end of 2012 is made up from grid-connected utility-scale renewable sources.
Leak of radioactive material at U.S. nuclear plant — Amount unknown, but greater than 100 gallons — “Leaking from the reactor itself”? http://enenews.com/leak-of-nuclear-material-at-u-s-nuclear-plant-amount-unknown-but-greater-than-100-gallons-of-radioactive-water-leaking-from-the-reactor-itself
CharlotteObserver, May. 15, 2013: More than 100 gallons of water with traces of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, has been leaked from a discharge pipe at the Catawba Nuclear Station [... It] has the potential to reach groundwater, according to the NRC. [...] Friends of the Earth, a environmental watchdog group with offices in Columbia, said Wednesday that Duke Energy needs to clarify how large the leak. [...] Friends of the Earth also said that Unit 2 at the Catawba plant should be taken out of operation while the leak is investigated and all leaking from the reactor itself, not just from the leaking sump line, is identified and halted. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, drinking water that has tritium can increase the risk of developing cancer.
NRC: Event Notification Report for May 15, 2013 [Catawba Nuclear Station in South Carolina] OFFSITE NOTIFICATION DUE TO LEAK FROM TURBINE BUILDING SUMP CONTAINING TRITIUM [...] “Sample exceeding the industry groundwater protection initiative related to radioactivity in groundwater for which a news release is planned and notification to other government agencies will be made.” “A leak greater than 100 gallons containing tritium has the potential to reach groundwater. The source has been identified. Actions to isolate this source are being initiated.” The licensee has identified a leak in a fiberglass discharge pipe from the turbine building sump. The licensee estimates that greater than 100 gallons of water has been discharged through the leak at the present time. The licensee is in the process of installing a temporary sump pump in the turbine building sump in order to isolate the discharge path. Samples indicate a tritium concentration of 8.964 E-6 uCi/mL. [...]
See also: Nuclear plant spills radioactive water into Lake Michigan (AUDIO)
Death Blow? “Complete rejection” of plan to restart ailing California nuclear reactor without public hearing — Plant corroding as it sits idle http://enenews.com/death-blow-complete-rejection-of-plan-to-restart-ailing-california-nuclear-reactor-without-public-hearing-plant-corroding-as-it-sits-idle 16 May 13
Reuters: An independent nuclear regulatory panel on Monday called for a full public hearing on the proposed restart of one of the two damaged San Onofre nuclear reactors, a move that will delay Southern California Edison’s plan to run the plant this summer. [...] Damon Moglen of Friends of the Earth called the ruling “a complete rejection of Edison’s plan to restart its damaged nuclear reactors without public review or input.”
San Diego Union-Tribune:: Murray Jennex, a former systems engineer at San Onofre for nearly 20 years who now teaches at San Diego State University’s College of Business Administration, said the order likely pushes back a final decision on restarting the Unit 2 reactor until after summer. “I won’t say this is a death blow to Unit 2, but it does make restart less likely,” Jennex said. “If approved, the additional downtime makes the Unit 2 restart more complex and costly due to corrosion issues from sitting.”
AP: San Onofre nuke plant restart halted [...] A federal panel sided Monday with environmentalists who have called for lengthy hearings on a plan to restart the ailing San Onofre nuclear power plant — a decision that further clouds the future of the twin reactors.
See also: Inside Sources: I was there when San Onofre nuclear plant shut down, I wouldn’t trust them to turn it back on — We’re dealing with unknown territory here (VIDEO)
Damaged California Nuclear Plant Faces Restart Safety Hearing WASHINGTON, DC, May 14, 2013 (ENS) –Southern California Edison’s request to restart its San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will be decided by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission only after a formal license amendment proceeding with full public participation, an adjudicatory panel has ruled. A three-judge panel of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board today granted Friends of the Earth’s petition for a hearing on the NRC’s Confirmatory Action Letter process covering steam generator issues at the San Onofre nuclear power plant.
Southern California Edison had asked the NRC for permission to restart the Unit 2 reactor by this summer and run it at partial power – a request the agency had indicated it would grant with no prior public hearing.
“This ruling is a complete rejection of Edison’s plan to restart its damaged nuclear reactors without public review or input,” said Damon Moglen, energy and climate director for Friends of the Earth.
“The ASLB has announced that the restart plan is an ‘experiment’ and calls the tube wear at San Onofre’s defective steam generators ‘unprecedented,’ as we have asserted all along,” said Moglen.
Southern California Edison must now undergo a trial-like license amendment process before a judge, including public hearings, sworn testimony from expert witnesses and rules of evidence……
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer said in a statement that the Board’s order sets “a legal framework for a full public hearing before any final decision on the restart of the San Onofre nuclear power plant is made by the NRC.”
“It is a comfort to me that the safety board stood up for what is right,” said Senator Boxer.
“Given that the NRC commissioners asked the Board to undertake this review and given that these judges were appointed by the NRC, I expect the commissioners to follow their lead,” said the California Democrat who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that oversees the NRC.
The Board’s ruling requires a license amendment because the restart plan is an ‘experiment’ under Section 5090(ii) of NRC regulations, which would allow the unit to operate beyond the scope of the existing license and without compiling with applicable technical specifications……. http://ens-newswire.com/2013/05/14/damaged-california-nuclear-plant-faces-restart-safety-hearing/
Rolling Stone: “Mass release of floating radioactive particles in metro St. Louis” possible from inferno at landfill? Fire “smells like dead bodies” — 8,700 tons of nuclear waste nearby http://enenews.com/rolling-stone-mass-release-of-floating-radioactive-particles-in-metro-st-louis-possible-from-underground-inferno-at-landfill-8700-tons-of-nuclear-waste-nearby-fire-smells-like-dead-bodies
Title: St. Louis Landfill Fire
Source: Rolling Stone
Author: Steven Hsieh
Date: May 10, 2013
An underground landfill fire near tons of nuclear waste raises serious health and safety concerns – so why isn’t the government doing more to help?
[...] It’s invisible to area residents, buried deep beneath the ground in a North St. Louis County landfill. [...] “It smells like dead bodies,” observes another local.
[...] “Am I going to end up with cancer 20 years down the road?” [...]
The Bridgeton landfill fire is burning close to at least 8,700 tons of nuclear weapons wastes. [...]
About 1,200 feet south of the radioactive EPA site, the fire at Bridgeton Landfill spreads out like hot barbeque coals. No one knows for sure what happens when an underground inferno meets a pool of atomic waste, but residents aren’t eager to find out. [...]
At a March 15th press conference, Peter Anderson – an economist who has studied landfills for over 20 years – raised the worst-case scenario of a “dirty bomb,” meaning a non-detonated, mass release of floating radioactive particles in metro St. Louis. “Now, to be clear, a dirty bomb is not nuclear fission, it’s not an atomic bomb, it’s not a weapon of mass destruction,” Anderson assured meeting attendants in Bridgeton’s Machinists Union Hall. “But the dispersal of that radioactive material in air that could reach – depending upon weather conditions – as far as 10 miles from the site could make it impossible to have economic activity continue.” [...]
Robert Criss, a geochemist at Washington University in St. Louis who has studied the issue closely, says the EPA is grossly underplaying a host of risks surrounding West Lake – flooding, earthquakes, liquefaction, groundwater leaching – that could pave the way for a public health crisis. That’s not to mention the recent development of an underground fire nearby. Says Criss, “There is no geological site I can think of that is more absurd to place such waste.” [...]
City opts for renewable energy, civic fee in electric aggregation Pantagraph.com 13 May 13, BLOOMINGTON — The city’s electricity aggregation program will include 100 percent renewable energy and a fee to reimburse the city for administrative costs.
The City Council on Monday authorized Mayor Tari Renner and Deputy City Manager Barb Adkins to sign bid documents related to the program that will allow the city to bundle Ameren customers’ electricity needs to attract the lowest bid. The two city officials are expected to accept a bid on May 15.
With seven “yes” votes, aldermen approved the inclusion of 100 percent renewable energy at an expected cost of $0.0008 per kilowatt hour.
They also approved a civic contribution of $0.001 per kilowatt hour. The civic contribution would provide the city with up to about $250,000 in revenue.
Mayor Tari Renner said he sees the civic contribution as a “user fee” to cover administrative costs of implementing the program.
City Manager David Hales said he could not at this time provide an estimate of how much the city’s involvement in the program will cost, but the city could be involved in energy efficiency educational efforts going forward. He said staff involvement to date has been “considerable.”…… Bloomington voters in April approved a referendum allowing the city to enter into an electricity aggregation program…… http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/city-opts-for-renewable-energy-civic-fee-in-electric-aggregation/article_211277e0-bc3d-11e2-bf0f-0019bb2963f4.html
Breakthrough Renewable Energy Forecasting Coming to Grid by 2015 The Energy Collective, Silvio Marcacci May 13, 2013 Breakthrough renewable energy forecasting technologies may be two years away from revolutionizing the efficiency of wind and solar generation on America’s grid. The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is adding to its already impressive list of renewable energy innovations with a new two-year plan to develop custom forecasting systems for wind energy and solar power.
NCAR scientists and engineers will develop technology to improve wind power output by predicting sudden changes in wind speed, help wind farm operators avoid curtailment during icy conditions, and predict the amount of energy generated by small-scale solar energy installations…….
The new phase of renewable energy forecasting technology will provide “probabilistic forecasts,” meaning utility managers will be able to make decisions based on high-accuracy predictions of certain weather conditions at a wind farm on the next day. Forecasts will focus on wind “ramp” events, ice and extreme temperatures, and distributed solar.
Anticipating Wind Ramp Events
Of the three, predicting ramp events could mean the most for overall generation. Ramp events refer to sudden and significant changes in wind conditions over the span of a few hours due to passing weather fronts or atmospheric events. NCAR’s Variational Doppler Radar Analysis System (VDRAS) will combine radar data with computer simulations to create accurate forecasts for specific wind farms and reduce intermittency…….
Preventing Cold-Weather Effects On Turbines……
Predicting Small-Scale Solar Output…..
NCAR’s approach to renewable energy forecasting has already been proven to save millions. A wind forecasting system it developed for Xcel in 2010 saved utility customers over $6 million that year by developing 35% more accurate forecasts for wind farm output.
“By creating more detailed and accurate forecasts…we can produce a major return on investment,” said Thomas Bogdan, President of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. “This type of cutting-edge research helps make renewable energy more cost competitive.” http://theenergycollective.com/silviomarcacci/223186/breakthrough-renewable-energy-forecasting-coming-us-grid-2015
CNBC: Nuclear power has taken a beating — Engulfed by ‘cauldron of events’ — Staggering change from just a few years ago — Not many had forecast it would “all go wrong at once” http://enenews.com/cnbc-nuclear-power-beating-engulfed-cauldron-events-staggering-change-years-many-forecast-all-wrong
Title: Nuclear Power Falters, Engulfed by ‘Cauldron’ of Bad Luck
Author: Javier E. David
Date: May 13, 2013
Nuclear Power Falters, Engulfed by ‘Cauldron’ of Bad Luck
Once touted as a successor, or at least a competitor, to carbon-based power, the nuclear sector has taken a beating as the momentum behind new projects stalls and enthusiasm for domestic fossil fuel production grows.
Across the country, plans to build nuclear plants have hit roadblocks recently—a sharp turn for a sector that just a few years ago was looking forward to a renaissance. [...]
The change in nuclear’s fortunes is staggering, given that the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of nuclear power [...]
Peter Bradford, a law professor and a former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
“Starting about four years ago, the industry felt it was in the middle of a renaissance”
“They’ve gone from that high-water mark to a point at which … we’re actually seeing the closing of a few operating plants, which was unthinkable even a few years ago”
[He] cited a “cauldron of events” for bringing the nuclear push to a standstill
“I don’t think there were many of us that forecast they would all go wrong at once”
“We don’t fight world hunger with caviar, and we’re not going to fight climate change with outlandishly expensive energy sources”
Indian Point To Become First Nuclear Plant To Operate With Expired License http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/05/13/indian-point-to-become-first-nuclear-plant-to-operate-with-expired-license/ License To Expire In Late Sept, Renewal Process Will Take At Least A Year May 13, 2013 TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — One of two reactors at the Indian Point nuclear plantnorth of New York City will soon be operating with an expired license.
Indian Point 2′s 40-year license expires on Sept. 28. NRC regional administrator Bill Dean said that’s at least a year before any decision will be made on whether to extend it for another 20 years. Dean said the reactor can keep operating because Entergy Nuclear, its owner, filed for renewal more than five years before the expiration date.
Dean and other NRC staff members will hold a public meeting in Tarrytown on Tuesday about the plant’s 2012 safety assessment.
Environmental groups planned to release their own safety reports on Indian Point on Tuesday.
According to the NRC, Indian Point will have the only nuclear reactor in the country operating without a license.
Regulatory panel delivers setback to restart plans for San Onofre nuclear plant http://www.scpr.org/news/2013/05/13/37250/regulatory-panel-delivers-setback-to-restart-plans/ Ben Bergman | May 13th, 2013 Southern California Edison’s plan to restart the San Onofre nuclear power plant was dealt a setback today by federal regulators when it recommended the utility must go through a licensing review process before the plant can be restarted. Read the findings below.
The decision – if it stands – could potentially delay a restart of the facility for years.
Ever since San Onofre closed in January 2012, Edison has been trying to get the plant re-started as quickly as possible.
Environmental groups have wanted the opposite. And now they may have gotten their wish of grinding the process to a halt. ”This is a complete victory,” said Bill Walker, spokesman for Friends of the Earth. That’s the environmental group that petitioned regulators to require Edison to go through a lengthy judicial-style license review before restarting the plant.
The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board – part of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) – sided with the group Monday. ”The ruling assures there will be a trial-like formal process with a judge where we and the public will have our day in court,” said Walker.
Edison would only say it’s reviewing the decision. It will most certainly file an appeal.
And, the NRC cautions that environmental groups shouldn’t pop the champagne yet. The agency’s staff could still approve Edison’s re-start plan, before any judicial hearings.
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